I don’t think I have ever been as acutely aware of my status of “outside” as I have become recently. I am very much a Git-er-done kinda gal and, well, in the small congregations where I have found myself in the last 30 years of my life and even the one brief foray into Big Church Fellowship I have managed to be front and center.
Now, I don’t particularly enjoy front and center, contrary to much popular opinion. I just realize that’s where the abilities G-d has given me generally lands me and I try my best to function well within those parameters. As The Mr. can attest, there is rarely a time I walk up on stage and I’m not sweaty palms and carefully planned exit strategies, heart pounding and brain racing.
Until the music starts…
Then it’s just my Lord and I and anyone who wants to jump in and join is welcome. If you don’t? Well, I’m not singing to you anyway, so it’s a bummer you can’t have as much fun as I am.
As long as my fingers are busy on the keys and the lyrics are leading me into a Holy Place I am still.
I know who I am in those circles, that environment. I know how to SERVE the Body. At least in those capacities. I can organize, I facilitate, I clean up, I come along side. That’s as natural to me as breathing.
This? This stillness? Long, peaceful days. No deadlines, going to church a privilege in my weekend, not a requirement in the sense of a “job to do”.
I sit on the second to the last row and look at people I don’t know and wonder what to do. I can come in late and no one notices, I can leave early and no one cares. I am invisible.
The young, beautiful mom crowd clusters at the front doors exchanging cookies on their way out. The singles group meets in the foyer on Tuesdays and my children rush off to their “children’s service” without so much as a backward glance.
I’m not needed. The machine runs smoothly without me.
I’m not hurt, wounded or broken by this place I am in. Rather bemused. What does a “take the bull by the horns” girl do when there aren’t any bulls around?
Today I went to Starbucks and purchased a large mint tea and cinnamon swirl coffee cake (low fat, better choices), settled myself in the corner table and studied Hebrews 2. Just me, tea , a lovely bit of coffee cake, an artists red tipped pen, study notes and a grid note pad. The question at the top of the page asked me “Why am I studying this?” and I hesitated.
It took me a full five minutes to write something.
As a leader, I studied to share, I studied to hold myself accountable and above reproach, I studied because I knew I needed constant refinement so that if and when the Lord desired to use me I wouldn’t sully His ministry through my own selfish and vain actions. Well, not as much as I would if I weren’t in the Word.
But now I don’t have a group of ladies looking up at me, I don’t have a congregation of people and a team watching my every move. I have become indeterminate. Even vacillating. Sort of. *grin*
So, why am I studying?
Simply because I can’t abide empty spaces and unanswered questions I scribbled something innocuous and Right. Regardless of whether or not I really believed what I wrote. I don’t believe motivation is as importance as movement. i.e. My feet should always go in the right direction whether or not my heart is feeling it at the moment.
I plodded on, gritted my teeth and dug in.
I came home shaken and refreshed and emotional and very conscious of my own weakness.
I don’t know how to be just heidi. Little h. I’ve forgotten who she is in the years I tried to function in a bedlam of expectations and exhausting, non-stop drama. In the shadow of whispers and implications and tight-fisted control masked as one way accountability and shrouded in a guise of good intentions. I’d forgotten the why of who I am. And the mystery of how He talks to me.
Hebrews 2 warns us that if we forget who He is and what He offers, salvation, we will drift away.
I find it remarkable that He took me to the very fringes of what seemed good to draw me close so that I could remember the fragrance of His presence. He pulled me out to draw me in. It doesn’t seem to make sense!
Sitting on the outside is painful for me. Feeling as though I am disposable is excruciating to my ego but vital to my development and growth. We are all both priceless and completely replaceable in the Kingdom. One of those goofy Biblical paradigms where two seemingly opposing truths can coexist peacefully.
I mean after all, if G-d wants to use me? That doesn’t make me special.
He used Balaam’s donkey too.
I’m learning to be still. To take the little steps in front of me and to remember what the most important things are. I am trying to understand the truth that G-dly fellowship is superior to man’s function and how gifts can somehow make room for me. Even in the oddest places.
I am connecting with the Body Corporate in my community and seeing His Children everywhere. His kids are beautiful and tragic. Gimpy and triumphant. Peaceful and confused. Kinda like me.
This outside thing isn’t so bad, I guess. I’m only outside what is familiar, not outside the Body and His plan.
I wonder… Is there something more I could be doing?
*laughs out loud*